This weekend was the Richmond Marathon. Dave had talked to me awhile ago about it because he was signed up for it and was planning on doing it from finish to start starting at 2am and then start to finish with everyone else for the real race. Of course I was up for the most-of-the-night run, but I wasn't ready to shell out the 95 clams for the regular race. Adam Tremper was still on the fence as of last week due to worry about injury but he ended up signing up late last week. On Friday I went to the expo with him because I just wanted to go for fun, and I saw my boss, Anne and my friend Mark Guzzi there at the Richmond Road Runner's table. I went up and they asked if I was running. I informed them of the "sort of" status of the run, and they asked if I would help pace the 4:15 pace group. Run a double marathon while only paying for the cost of food during the race...duh. After registering and receiving my pace bib Adam and I walked around the expo and spotted Bart Yasso, the Chief Running Officer of Runner's World Magazine. That was pretty cool, I must say.
Dave, myself, Kirby, Phil, and his son (on bikes) Matt Smythe, Justin, and two others that I'm sorry I forgot their names all met up and took off from the finish line. It was professionally "chip" timed, which consisted of Dave handing out two Pringles to everyone every time we crossed a timing mat. There was a mist the entire run, but we never actually got wet. Finishing up at the real races starting line, our race director came in a very unofficial 1st place. All hail Dave. We all proceeded back to the cars to change socks and shirts, and made our way to the start. Dave, Justin, and I were the only one's doing the double. Everyone else headed to their designated sleeping areas. Considering I had taken a 45 min nap from 12:15 to 1:00 am, I envied them a little bit.
The marathon field was the largest it had ever been at around 15 thousand entrants. The race started without me being able to find Mark, who was also going to be pacing for the first half because he is running the JFK 50 miler this coming weekend. It wasn't too hard to pick him out considering he was sporting a rainbow colored clown wig, "So people could easily spot him." It turns out, people find it easier to follow. Bonus. We settled into our very relaxed 9:43 min/mile pace and cruised along. We started with around 15-20 people in our group including two of the editors for Runner's World. (One of them is the woman in the greenish tank in the picture) At the half way point he dropped and got our group to chant "wear the wig," until I wore the wig. So, for the last half, I wore the wig. By the time mile 20 (or 46 for some) rolled around I was down to a steady group of two. David (what is it with runners named Dave? They are everywhere.) from Stafford and Andrew from Richmond. We all criused into the finish in around 4:11. I was 4 minutes early...not the greatest, but not too bad either. All in all, I had a blast and Adam did awesome finishing his first marathon in 3:19.